fbpx

37 Most Affordable Colleges in Minnesota in 2021

March 2, 2021 | Staff Writers

Cheapest Colleges in Minnesota
Degree Finder
BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Many Americans face a challenge when deciding on their future careers. Higher education is essential to getting ahead, especially in a tough employment market. At the same time, the costs have been steadily growing for decades. It’s vital to know the cheapest colleges in Minnesota to make the right decision.

Potential students need to choose a practical occupation and a school that won’t leave them in debt that will take years to pay off. The average cost of college and tuition in the U.S. is $32,889, and that price tag is growing at a rate of 5.2%.

At the same time, economic research shows people with a college degree make 80% more money annually than those without one. With those numbers, the right degree at a fair price is a profitable and wise decision.

Rank School Location
1University of Minnesota – Twin CitiesMinneapolis, Minnesota
2Martin Luther CollegeNew Ulm, Minnesota
3University of Minnesota – RochesterRochester, Minnesota
4Bemidji State UniversityBemidji, Minnesota
5Saint Olaf College Northfield, Minnesota

Finding the Cheapest College in Minnesota that Meets Your Needs

1

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

The University of Minnesota at Twin Cities is a public college founded in 1851 that sits on 1,204 acres in an urban setting. It offers over 135 majors across 17 schools, including biological sciences, management, public health, education and human development, and science and engineering. The number 1 school on our list provides quality education at an affordable price.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $7,513
Total Enrollment: 35,165
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 17 to 1
Visit School Website
2

Martin Luther College

  • New Ulm, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 73%

Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota, is a small, private Christian college with an NCAA Division II football team. The school’s programs focus on education and theology majors, such as early childhood, elementary, and middle and secondary education. It also offers a pre-seminary program.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $9,622
Total Enrollment: 714
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 11 to 1
Visit School Website
3

University of Minnesota – Rochester

  • Rochester, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 55%

The third school on our cheapest colleges in Minnesota list is the University of Minnesota at Rochester. The small public university focuses on health science and health profession majors. It offers degrees in respiratory care, radiography, sonography, and echocardiography.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $7,734
Total Enrollment: 515
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 14 to 1
Visit School Website
4

Bemidji State University

  • Bemidji, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 45%

Another college at number three is Bemidji State University. Tied with the University of Minnesota at Rochester, it’s a public school in Bemidji, founded in 1919. The difference is in the program offerings. It provides a highly specialized catalog that includes a wide range of options, including accounting, engineering, management, marketing, music, biology, computer science, and dozens of other choices.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $4,046
Total Enrollment: 4,490
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 20 to 1
Visit School Website
5

Saint Olaf College

  • Northfield, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 88%

The university in Northfield is a private school sitting on a 300-acre campus in a rural setting. Founded in 1874, it’s an Evangelical Lutheran college that requires students to take bible and theology courses. Saint Olaf College offers a wide range of majors, such as environmental studies, computer science, education, economics, exercise science, social work, and theater.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $13,447
Total Enrollment: 3,023
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 12 to 1
Visit School Website

Need help finding the right college?

We can help you find the right school based on the program you select.

Search Colleges

Find the best online and offline colleges for your degree

Best Value Schools is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
6

Minneapolis College of Art & Design

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 66%

Founded in 1886, the private university in Minneapolis is a small, competitive school that offers in-person and online classes on its three-acre campus next to the Minneapolis Institute of Art. The Minneapolis College of Art & Design offers several undergraduate majors, including animation, comic art, filmmaking, graphic design, illustration, and drawing and painting.

*When factoring in average aid, the cost is closer to around $10,623 per semester. About 97% of students receive financial aid and it is rare that they pay “full sticker” price. More information can be found here.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester (Undergraduate): $20,672 ($1,723 per credit)*
Total Enrollment: 717
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 11 to 1
Visit School Website
7

Macalester College

  • Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 88%

The private institution in Saint Paul is a small college sitting on 53 acres in an urban setting. Founded in 1874, it’s a liberal arts school in an intimate setting that offers dozens of majors. Macalester College is the sixth cheapest college in Minnesota. It offers degrees in astronomy, chemistry, biology, computer science, creative writing, educational studies, economics, and many more subject matters.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $14,506
Total Enrollment: 2,140
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 10 to 1
Visit School Website
8

University of Minnesota – Crookston

  • Crookston, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 53%

The University of Minnesota in Crookston is a public school sitting on a 108-acre urban campus. It offers programs in agriculture and natural resources, liberal arts and education, business and math, and science and technology. All students at the Northwest Minnesota school receive laptops and personalized mentorship while attending the state university.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $6,058
Total Enrollment: 1,206
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 16 to 1
Visit School Website
9

Saint Catherine University

  • Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 58%

The small, private Catholic school in Saint Paul was founded in 1905 and is located on a 110-acre campus. Saint Catherine University is a competitive school that offers a wide range of course options available in-person, online, and hybrid. The most popular majors at the Saint Paul college include health professions, business management, marketing, public administration, and social sciences.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $10,078
Total Enrollment: 2,143
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 10 to 1
Visit School Website
10

The College of Saint Scholastica

  • Duluth, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 65%

Situated on a 186-acre campus in Duluth, the College of Saint Scholastica is a private Catholic College overlooking Lake Superior. It offers over 40 different majors, such as nursing, business, exercise physiology, education, computer information sciences, communications, and theology. The college also has an NCAA Division III football team and will be a part of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference starting Fall of 2021.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $19,375
Total College Enrollment: 3,712
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 13 to 1
Visit School Website
11

Hamline University

  • Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 59%

Founded in 1854, the private four-year school in Saint Paul sits on a 60-acre campus in an urban Minnesota setting. Hamlin University has the distinction of being the state’s first higher learning institution. It offers nearly 50 areas of study, such as analytical economics, accounting, business administration, biology, criminology, digital media arts, education, pre-law, and pre-medical. Hamline University is number three on our cheapest colleges in Minnesota list, and it’s tied with the University of Minnesota.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $10,788
Total Enrollment: 3,241
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 13 to 1
Visit School Website
12

University of Minnesota – Morris

  • Morris, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

Also, at number 10, the University of Minnesota at Morris is a public liberal arts college founded in 1959. The state school is located in Morris on a 130-acre campus. It has a large selection of academic programs to choose from, including education, humanities, science, theatre arts, sports management, and computer science. The university offers courses online and in-person.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $6,789
Total Enrollment: 1,499
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 11 to 1
Visit School Website
13

Concordia College – Moorhead

  • Moorhead, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 73%

Founded in 1891, Concordia College at Moorhead is a private, four-year liberal arts school on a 113-acre suburban campus. It offers an extensive list of more than 120 majors, minors, and licensures. The most popular include education, business management, marketing, biological sciences, and visual and performing arts. Concordia College is tied at number 11 on our cheapest colleges in Minnesota list with the Minnesota State University at Moorhead and the Metropolitan State University at Minnesota.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $13,750
Total Enrollment: 2,042
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 11 to 1
Visit School Website
14

Minnesota State University – Moorhead

  • Moorhead, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 53%

The four-year state school is located in an urban setting on a 119-acre campus. Founded in 1887, it offers rolling admissions for a wide range of majors. The most popular Moorhead programs include Elementary Inclusive Education, Business Administration, Psychology, Social Work, Nursing.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester (Minnesota Resident): $3,930
Tuition Per Semester (Non-Resident): $7,860
Total Enrollment: 4,448
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 18 to 1
Visit School Website
15

Metropolitan State University – Minnesota

  • Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 48%

Metropolitan State University is a public institution in Saint Paul, founded in 1971. The fully accredited college has locations in Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The school offers a wide assortment of majors, including nursing, business, liberal arts, accounting, criminal justice, computer science, and human services. Metropolitan State University shares number 11 with Minnesota State University at Moorhead and Concordia College at Moorhead.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $4,057
Total Enrollment: 6,065
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 16 to 1
Visit School Website
16

Minnesota State University – Mankato

  • Mankato, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 52%

Minnesota State University at Mankato is number 12 on our ranking. Founded in 1868, it’s 85 miles from the Twin Cities and sits on 303-acres that overlooks the Minnesota River Valley. The school has a diverse offering of 130 undergraduate programs, including Minnesota’s only nationally-, regionally-, and state-accredited aviation program.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $8,615
Total Enrollment: 12,450
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 22 to 1
Visit School Website
17

Carleton College

  • Northfield, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 92%

Founded in 1866, Carleton College in Northfield is a private, top 10 liberal arts school in a rural setting on 1,040 acres. It offers nearly 40 undergraduate majors, over 200 student-led organizations, and 19 varsity athletic teams that compete in the NCAA Division III. Carleton College is tied at number 13 in our cheapest colleges in Minnesota ranking with the College of Saint Benedict and Southwest Minnesota State University.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $29,484
Total Enrollment: 2,115
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 9 to 1
Visit School Website
18

College of Saint Benedict

  • St. Joseph, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 84%

The College of Saint Benedict is a private Roman Catholic university founded in 1913 in Saint Joseph. The small suburban school is located on a 300-acre campus and is a member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. It offers a wide range of majors, including accounting, business, education, nursing, and theology. The college is tied with Carleton College and the Southwest Minnesota State University at number 13.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $24,083
Total Enrollment: 1,748
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 11 to 1
Visit School Website
19

Southwest Minnesota State University

  • Marshall, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 49%

The public school, founded in 1963, is also number 13 on our list of the cheapest colleges in Minnesota. Set in a rural area, Southwest Minnesota State University has a 216-acre campus in Marshall. Popular majors include business, education, and sciences.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $7,302
Total Enrollment: 1,811
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 15 to 1
Visit School Website
20

Dunwoody College of Technology

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 54%

Dunwoody College of Technology is a private school set on an 11-acre urban campus in Minneapolis. Founded in 1914, the small college offers focused learning across 45 majors, including automotive, construction science, radiologic technology, robotics, engineering, and computer technology.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $10,898
Total Enrollment: 1,064
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 11 to 1
Visit School Website
21

Saint John’s University – Minnesota

  • St. Joseph, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 84%

Number 15 on the list is Saint John’s University – Minnesota, in Collegeville. The small, private, Catholic school was founded in 1857 and is located on a 2500-acre rural campus. It offers over two dozen majors, including accounting, business, communications, computer science, theology, and education. The university is tied at number 15 with Winona State University.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $24,083
Total Enrollment: 1,646
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 12 to 1
Visit School Website
22

Winona State University

  • Winona, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 59%

At number 15 on the cheapest colleges in Minnesota list, Winona State University is a mid-sized public school in Winona. Founded in1858, it’s located on a 125-acre campus in an urban setting. The most popular majors include business, management, marketing, education, fitness studies, and public administration.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $4,833
Total Enrollment: 6,972
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 19 to 1
Visit School Website
23

North Central University

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 49%

North Central University is a small, private religious school in Minneapolis affiliated with the Assemblies of God Church. It sits on a 9-acre urban area campus. It offers over 60 academic programs, such as accounting, education, marketing, church leadership, visual arts, and pastoral studies. The institution is tied at number 16 with Saint Cloud University.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $10,799
Total Enrollment: 929
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 17 to 1
Visit School Website
24

Saint Cloud University

  • St. Cloud, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 46%

Founded in 1869, Saint Cloud University is a public college located on a 100-acre city campus along the Mississippi River. The school offers over 200 undergraduate programs, including accounting, management, mechanical engineering, nursing, education, and communications.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $4,431
Total Enrollment: 10,914
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 17 to 1
Visit School Website
25

Gustavus Adolphus College

  • St. Peter, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 81%

Tied at number 17 with Rasmussen College, Gustavus Adolphus College is a private institution set on a 340-acre rural campus in Saint Peter. The highly-selective university is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Founded in 1862, it’s an NCAA Division III football school in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. It offers 72 majors. Some of the most popular are accounting, psychology, business, and communications.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $24,230
Total Enrollment: 2,235
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 12 to 1
Visit School Website
26

University of Minnesota – Duluth

  • Duluth, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 60%

Founded in 1947, the University of Minnesota – Duluth is a mid-sized regional school that sits on a 244-acre campus overlooking Lake Superior. The NCAA Division II football college is a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. It offers 87 undergraduate majors, including psychology, marketing, mechanical engineering, finance, communications, education, and business.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $6,788
Total Enrollment: 9,847
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 17 to 1
Visit School Website
27

Bethel University

  • Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 76%

Tied at number 20 on our list of the cheapest colleges in Minnesota with Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Bethel University is a private Baptist school. Founded in 1847, the 247-acre suburban campus in Arden Hills is 20 minutes from St. Paul and Minneapolis. The NCAA Division III football school is in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Founded in 1871, students can choose from 90 different majors, such as accounting, management, mechanical engineering, pre-law, pre-medicine, and education.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $38,870
Total Enrollment: 4,005
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 11 to 1
Visit School Website
28

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

  • Winona, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 61%

Founded in 1912, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is a private Roman Catholic college in Winona. The school sits on a 350-acre campus east of Minneapolis. Degree options include business administration, healthcare, public health, and education.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $19,140
Total Enrollment: 1,467
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 18 to 1
Visit School Website
29

University of Saint Thomas – Minnesota

  • Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 76%

The University of Saint Thomas is a mid-sized school located on a 78-acre urban campus in Saint Paul. Founded in 1885, the private college is an NCAA Division III school for football in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. It offers dozens of majors, including marketing, business, finance, mechanical engineering, accounting, and public health education.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $22,890
Total Enrollment: 6,402
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 13 to 1
Visit School Website
30

Institute of Production & Recording

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 55%

The Institute of Production & Recording in Minneapolis is tied at number 21 on our cheapest colleges in Minnesota ranking with the Northwestern Health Science University. Founded in 2002, the small specialty school offers two programs, audio production and live sound and film and sound design.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $13,415
Total Enrollment: 148
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 8 to 1
Visit School Website
31

Northwestern Health Science University

  • Bloomington, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 81%

Northwestern Health Science University is a small, private school in Bloomington, founded in 1941 as a chiropractic college. It sits on a 25-acre campus south of Minneapolis. The institution offers degrees in chiropractic care, massage therapy, medical assisting, laboratory science, radiologic technology, and nutrition.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $10,232
Total Enrollment: 120
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 12 to 1
Visit School Website
32

University of Northwestern – Saint Paul

  • Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

Tied at 22 with Bethany Lutheran College, the private, undenominational Christian college is located on a 107-acre suburban campus in Saint Paul. Founded in 1902, it’s an NCAA Division III football school in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. The institution provides various majors, including biblical studies, communications, education, engineering, business, and psychology.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $16,600
Total Enrollment: 3,376
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 17 to 1
Visit School Website
33

Bethany Lutheran College

  • Mankato, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 57%

The private school in Mankato sits on a 50-acre urban-area campus overlooking the Minnesota River Valley. Operated by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Founded in 1927, Bethany Lutheran College offers 27 majors, including business administration, communications, computer science, and legal studies.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $13,850
Total Enrollment: 741
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 12 to 1
Visit School Website
34

Augsburg University

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 56%

Tied at number 23 with Crown College and Oaks hill Christian College, Augsburg University is a private school affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Located in Minneapolis, the institution sits on a 24-acre campus in an urban setting. It offers a wide range of majors, such as business administration, art, music, communications, education, and theology.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $19,647
Total Enrollment: 3,425
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 12 to 1
Visit School Website
35

Crown College

  • St. Bonifacius, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 46%

Founded in 1916, Crown College is a private university in Bonifacius associated with the Christ and Missionary Alliance Church. Sitting on a 215-acre rural campus, the institution provides more than 40 accredited degree options on campus and online. The most popular majors include accounting, communication, ministry, theological studies, and business administration.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $12,110
Total Enrollment: 1,510
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 18 to 1
Visit School Website
36

Oaks Hill Christian College

  • Bemidji, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 41%

Number 23 on our list of the cheapest colleges in Minnesota is Oaks Hill Christian College. The private, non-denominational college is located in the Bemidji Township. Founded in 1946, the small, inter-denominational school sits on a 14-acre lakeshore campus. It offers a limited selection of degree programs, such as worship arts, biblical studies, addictions counseling, applied psychology, business, and sports management.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $9,110
Total Enrollment: 83
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 9 to 1
Visit School Website
37

Concordia University-Saint Paul

  • Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 68%

Concordia University-Saint Paul is a mid-sized school located on a 37-acre urban campus. The private college, founded in 1893, offers over 100 degree programs, including computer science, education, business, sports management, nursing, theology, and marketing.

School Overview

Tuition Per Semester: $11,700
Total Enrollment: 3,127
Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 18 to 1
Visit School Website

We comply with higher education rules for rankings using a verifiable formula. All tuition rates are estimated based on the school’s annual cost divided into two semesters. The universities on our ranking go by a 12-credit, full-time course load.

The price per credit is the estimated single semester rate divided by 12. Each school is ranked based on cost per credit and the institution’s graduation rate. For example, schools with low tuition and graduation rates aren’t listed at the top because fewer students graduate after four to six years.

We work to provide you with the most accurate school data from the college’s website or the NCES. We use a reliable methodology to rank schools. Institutions can’t influence editorial content.

If you don’t see your Minnesota college list and would like it considered when we update the content, please contact us. We’re always on the lookout for schools with the highest value across the country.

Scroll to Top